TRIBUTE TO DAN O'NEILL; Congressional Record Vol. 165, No. 44
(Senate - March 12, 2019)

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[Pages S1790-S1791]
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                         TRIBUTE TO DAN O'NEILL

 Mr. MERKLEY. Madam President, Robert F. Kennedy once said: 
``We want to make sure that we bequeath to our descendants a better and 
safer world than the one in which we live today.'' For nearly four 
decades, Dan O'Neill has dedicated himself to creating that better, 
safer world for future generations. As he prepares to step back from 
his work and enjoy a much-deserved retirement, I want to share a few 
thoughts about this wonderful individual.
  As a young man volunteering for an NGO in Africa, Europe, and the 
Middle East, Dan came face to face with some of the worst that 
humankind has to offer: extreme poverty, oppression, famine, and war. 
At first, he documented these horrors in photos, articles, and 
journals, until one day when he decided he couldn't just watch anymore. 
In the face of relentless horror and carnage, specifically the brutal 
genocide in Cambodia and coverage of the Khmer Rouge Killing Fields, 
Dan's conscience wouldn't allow him to just

[[Page S1791]]

sit by as a witness. He knew he had to act; and act he did.
  In 1979, he founded the Save the Refugees Fund to give lifesaving aid 
to hundreds of thousands of Cambodians fleeing for their lives and 
safety. Three years later, he expanded on that effort by cofounding 
Mercy Corps, a global nongovernmental, humanitarian aid organization 
with the goal of alleviating suffering, poverty, and oppression by 
helping people build just, secure, and productive communities.
  Thirty-eight years later, Dan has traveled the world to meet with 
political and religious leaders; worked on the ground to establish and 
run Mercy Corps programs in some of the least hospitable places on 
Earth; and witnessed, firsthand, natural disasters, human catastrophes, 
political upheavals, war, and famine. The organization that he created, 
Mercy Corps, has provided over $4 billion in lifesaving assistance to 
more than 220 million people in need in at least 122 countries.
  Today, amid the world's most dire situations, you can always count on 
Mercy Corps to be there, building the foundation for those just, 
secure, and productive communities. Where this is a desperate 
challenge, you are likely to find Mercy Corps at work, providing vital 
aid and assistance to refugees in Jordan; giving water to famine-
stricken families in South Sudan; or bringing desperately needed public 
attention to today's worldwide refugee crisis. All of that is, in no 
small measure, thanks to Dan O'Neill's inexhaustible passion and 
  So to Dan O'Neill, who has done so much, for so many, for so long, I 
simply want to say, thank you. I wish him all the best as he begins 
this next chapter of his life.